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Key Leadership Transition at Singapore National Eye Centre and SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre
29 Oct 2021   

Media Release For Immediate Release
​Key Leadership Transition at Singapore National Eye Centre and SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre

Singapore, 29 October 2021 — The SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (AMC) announced a key leadership change today. Professor Wong Tien Yin, Medical Director, Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), Deputy Group CEO (Research & Education), SingHealth, and Vice-Dean, Office of Academic & Clinical Development, Duke-NUS Medical School, will relinquish his appointments with effect from 1 January 2022. In his place, the following appointments will take place:

  • Professor Aung Tin will be appointed as SNEC’s Medical Director on 1 January 2022;
  • Professor Lim Soon Thye will be appointed as SingHealth’s Deputy Group CEO (Research & Education) [DGCEO (R&E)] (Designate) on 1 November 2021 and thereafter, as DGCEO (R&E) on 1 January 2022;
  • Clinical Associate Professor Chow Wan Cheng will be appointed as Duke-NUS’ Vice-Dean, Office of Academic and Clinical Development (OACD) (Designate) on 1 November 2021 and thereafter, as Duke-NUS’ Vice-Dean, OACD, on 1 January 2022.

As SNEC’s Medical Director for the past seven years, Prof Wong cemented its position as a leader in the delivery of eye care services, groundbreaking ophthalmic and vision research and top-notch education in Singapore and globally. He also oversaw many initiatives to advance specialist eye care, including the development and implementation of new models of care, enhancement of clinical capacity and expansion of community eye care.

To drive home the importance of eye care in the community, Prof Wong advocated the use of tele-ophthalmology and home medication delivery and setting up “virtual” observation clinics. He spearheaded the establishment of Singapore’s first Myopia Centre in 2019 and the ‘VisionSave’ Mobile Eye Bus for community eye screening. These initiatives enabled early detection and treatment of myopia among Singaporeans, and made eye screening accessible in the community.

Prof Wong has also pioneered wide-ranging innovative solutions for eye care. Notable initiatives include the setting up of the Singapore Integrated Diabetic Retinopathy Programme (SiDRP), a tele-ophthalmology based programme for screening diabetic eye disease and the subsequent implementation of SELENA+ (Singapore Eye Lesion Analyser Plus), an artificial intelligence software system that effectively reduces the time and manpower required for efficient and accurate eye scan results in SiDRP. To date, SELENA+ is the sole healthcare use case for the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) strategy.

As SingHealth’s Deputy Group CEO (Research & Education) and Duke-NUS’ Vice-Dean, Prof Wong made significant contributions in conceptualising and shaping academic medicine efforts in the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC. Under his leadership, many strategic initiatives were implemented to transform healthcare research and education. He has also been instrumental in sharpening the AMC’s research and education foci, supporting the development of clinician-scientists, clinician-investigators and clinician-innovators and research professionals as well as widening and deepening collaborations with local and international partners. The AMC is now home to half of Singapore’s nationally funded clinician-scientists.

Upon relinquishing his appointments, Prof Wong will take up an appointment as Founding Head of Tsinghua Medicine, a new academy of healthcare and medical sciences at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The academy will expand and leverage on the resources and capabilities of Tsinghua’s Schools of Medicine, Basic Medical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences and affiliated hospitals, with the aim to develop academic medicine, reform medical education, strengthen translation of research and build international networks. In this role, Prof Wong will also be identifying and developing new collaborative opportunities between Tsinghua and SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC in areas of research, medical education, clinical innovation, global health and cross-campus faculty and student exchanges. Prof Wong will be appointed to the SingHealth Board of Advisors as Senior Advisor, SingHealth, with effect from 1 January 2022.

“We are deeply grateful to Tien Yin for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC and SNEC over the years. He has been trailblazing many important research and education initiatives and nurturing a strong academic medicine culture in our AMC. At SNEC, Tien Yin has played an instrumental role in advancing specialist eye care and leading the team to improve clinical and care outcomes for patients and the community. He has laid strong foundations that the teams can build on to continue shaping healthcare and defining tomorrow’s Medicine for our patients,” said Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth.

“Tien Yin is a visionary clinician-scientist who has been a champion of academic medicine and an inspiring role model to our faculty, students and clinicians across the AMC. During his tenure as Vice-Dean of the Office of Academic and Clinical Development, he has been instrumental in launching a wide range of programmes to promote academic development, collaboration and sharing among our clinical faculty in order to support their successful career development,” said Professor Thomas Coffman, Dean, Duke-NUS.

Prof Aung, who is currently the Executive Director, Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and Deputy Medical Director (Research), SNEC, has a wealth of experience as a clinician leader. Under his leadership, SERI has grown to be the largest eye research institute in the Asia-Pacific region, with an excellent track record of garnering competitive research grants, publishing peer-reviewed papers, receiving international awards and generating new research patents and spin-offs. In his new role as Medical Director, SNEC, Prof Aung will continue to drive SNEC’s mission to push the boundaries of ophthalmic care and pursue quality clinical services and patient outcomes.

Prof Lim is currently Deputy Group Chairman Medical Board, SingHealth, and Senior Associate Dean for Duke-NUS’ MD Programme. As SingHealth Deputy Group CEO (Research & Education), he will further SingHealth’s academic medicine agenda to improve healthcare through research and education. He will also continue in his concurrent role as Deputy Medical Director (Clinical), National Cancer Centre Singapore.

Clin Assoc Prof Chow is currently Senior Associate Dean, Academic Medicine Department, OACD. As Vice-Dean, OACD, she will provide strategic leadership and guidance to advance the academic agenda of the School, elevating the academic medicine mission to a new high and building on Prof Wong’s strong foundations to further deepen strategic and meaningful interactions with the ACPs, Joint Institutes and Centres, and creating organisational frameworks to spearhead and manage the continued development of academic medicine.

For media queries, please contact:

Ms Lydia Ng
SingHealth Group Communications
DID: 6377 8039 / Mobile: 92716175

Ms Yu Zehan
Duke-NUS Communications & Strategic Relations
DID: 66016779 / Mobile: 9839 6957

About SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre

The SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (AMC) draws on the collective strengths of SingHealth and Duke-NUS Medical School to provide our patients and community with the best outcomes and experience.

By leveraging the synergies in clinical care, research and education created through our Academic Clinical Programmes, Disease Centres and Joint Institutes, the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC fosters the exchange of scientific knowledge and clinical perspectives to accelerate innovation and new discoveries, advance the practice of medicine as well as nurture the next generation of healthcare professionals.

SingHealth delivers comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and integrated care across a network of acute hospitals, national specialty centres, polyclinics and community hospitals. Offering over 40 clinical specialties, SingHealth is Singapore’s largest public healthcare cluster.

Duke-NUS, Singapore’s flagship graduate-entry medical school, nurtures ‘Clinician Plus’ graduates to become leaders in the global healthcare and biomedical ecosystem, while scientists from its five Signature Research Programmes and nine Centres transform medicine and improve lives in Asia and beyond.

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